1967 Dodge Coronet WO23 Hemi Super Stock Racecar
Lot No. 560
Auctioned on Saturday, March 23, 2013
Sold for $104,500
- One of 55 1967 Factory Super Stock Dodges
- One of 16 four-speed cars
- Documented history from new, including titles and photos
- 2,579 miles from new
- Documented Period race history at major 1967 NHRA events
Following is a more complete history of this special car:
In the fall of 1966, Dick Maxwell from Chrysler called Warren D. Barnett of Stone Mountain, GA (a Southeastern drag racer of some notoriety) and offered him a new 1967 Super Stock car at a good price. Maxwell asked whether he wanted a four-speed or an automatic. Warren said that he had been racing an automatic, so he decided to try a four-speed. After he had the car and raced it for a while, he said it was the “Worst mistake I ever made.” The four-speeds were much harder to be consistent in than the automatics.
200190 was built on February 12, 1967 at the Lynch Road Assembly Plant, Hamtramck, MI, as part of a run of 55 WO23 Super Stock cars. The cars were built on a Sunday by management personnel as a way to get them completed without disrupting the regular build schedule and without having to incur the expense of overtime with the regular workers. It appears that 200190 is one of 16 four-speed WO23 cars built.
From the Lynch Road plant, the car went to Race Preparation and further modifications were carried out to complete the vehicle. On March 27th, 200190 was shipped to Hall Dodge in Thomaston, GA.
On April 15, 1967, Barnett picked up the Hemi from Hall Dodge. Warren financed it through Fulton National Bank in Decatur, GA, and had to be careful to not let them know that they had lent him money to buy a racecar.
Warren says the car was supplied to him from Dodge with a spare short-block. He talked about the interest today in cars with original “matching numbers” engines and just laughed. He said that 200190 had its original engine for about 48-hours! They immediately pulled the engine and installed their 1966 race engine. At that time, he and his brother were racing three Hemis and rotating 12 motors among the three cars, so the engine was immediately pulled out of the new WO23 and placed in the rotation.
Since he did not receive 200190 until April, Warren said they really had to rush to get the car ready for the 1967 season. They ran the WO23 in the “SS/B” class. They set a class record at Pelion, SC, won a couple of points races, ran Bristol, ran Indy and the World Finals at Tulsa – all in 1967.
At Indy, all of the Hemis were experiencing fuel pick up problems, so they decided to turn the tanks around to place the pick up at the rear of the tank. However; the NHRA caught them, and made them all go back to the stock location.
At Tulsa, Warren loaned 200190 to Arlen Vanke after Vanke’s car broke. A phone call to Arlen Vanke resulted in his remembering the car and the Tulsa race. He said that he originally developed the special modified intake manifold for the WO23 cars when he was racing a 427-cid Chevrolet! He tried cutting material out of the plenum and the car went faster. When he started to work on the Hemis, he tried the same thing and the more metal they cut away; the faster the Hemi-powered cars went. He said he modified all the manifolds for the WO and RO car for Chrysler, as well as develop the carburetion changes required to take advantage of the manifold modifications.
The Barnett Brothers raced 200190 throughout 1967, and possibly into 1968 before switching over to their 1968 Hemi Barracuda.
On September 9, 1969, Barnett sold 200190 without an engine to Charles J. Dickson of Chattanooga, TN (Chattanooga Valley Used Cars). Dickson continued to race the car, painting it in Sox and Martin colors and naming it the “Family Affair” after a popular television show of the time. It is unclear if Dickson ran a Hemi in the car or not. When he quit racing 200190, probably in the early 1970s, he stored the car at this Chattanooga Valley Used Cars facility.
It was there that Michael R. Robbins, then also of Chattanooga, spotted 200190 and acquired it on October 2, 1982, as a high school graduation present from his father. He initially found the car in an unused car wash stall, but by the time he purchased it, it had been moved to an outside location. The car was engineless and had only a temporary rear axle under it, but was amazingly complete and still only had 283 miles showing on the odometer. The original Super Stock battery was in the trunk, though it had split due to freezing weather. The original trunk mat was also still present. The original carb adapter and intake system was in the trunk, as well as a set of Hooker headers and a bellhousing. The interior was untouched and the body was corrosion free, except for some light surface rust where the hood scoop had been fastened to the hood.
Thankfully 200190 was saved by 1982, when a knowledgeable enthusiast acquired the car and preserved it. Many other old racecars suffered far worse fates. Robbins’ family was, and still is, a Chrysler dealer in Ringgold, GA, so when he got 200190; he started searching for what he thought might be the original engine. He enlisted the help of the Chrysler Regional Representative to search the Southeast, as he believed that the engine had found its way into a dirt car in the Georgia area. Eventually, he located the missing dirt engine in Americus, GA, and installed it into 200190. Its build specifications and cam design make it possible that it is actually one of Warren Barnett’s original motors.
When Robbins acquired the Hemi, it apparently had a Torqueflite transmission installed, and he initially installed a 440-cid engine and raced the car a few times with this combination while he was searching for the Hemi engine. After locating the ex-Barnett Hemi, they also found a correct 18-spline, four-speed gearbox and reinstalled the pair into 200190. The rear axle, temporarily mounted in the car when Robbins purchased it, was an 8-3/4-inch 3.23:1 open unit – so he bought a Dana 60 truck unit from Herb McCandless. McCandless had narrowed it, put 10-inch drums on and installed 4.56:1 gears.
Robbins repainted the car to its original White and re-dyed the carpets.
In March 1984, Robbins moved to Ringgold, Georgia and re-titled the WO23 in the state of Georgia. At that time, the odometer showed 508 miles.
On August 10, 1988, Robbins sold 200190 to Carl A. Sexton, Ringgold, GA; the mileage was then at 630 miles. By this time, he had installed a Lakewood bellhousing (with the original still in the trunk) and headers.
Sexton only owned the car for a few months before selling it in late 1988 to Richard Buxbaum. He reported that he did no work to the car, though Robbins stated that Mr. Sexton did break the driveshaft “messing around” in his driveway. The car was sold to Mr. Buxbaum with the broken driveshaft. Sexton stated that he did not know how Buxbaum found him, but he “just had to have the car.” It appears that the car had 730 miles on it at the time of the Buxbaum purchase.
Buxbaum, a collector and musclecar dealer from Westmont, IL, was heavily involved in these cars at the time. He recalled that he actually went to Georgia to purchase the car. Mr. Buxbaum is unable to recall to whom he sold the car after his ownership.
On July 12, 1991, 200190 was purchased by Neal Goldstein (Power Motorcar Company), Roslyn, NY. It is not clear if he purchased it directly from Buxbaum or not, though his company (AMG of North America) is listed as the prior owner on the title.
On November 25, 1991, Eric Turnquist, Califon, NJ purchased the Hemi-powered car using four cars as a trade and cash. Mileage at this time was 1,014. Mr. Turnquist was an attorney and musclecar collector. Turnquist saw the car advertised for sale in an ad. Power Motorcar Company was an exotic and musclecar dealer, and it is thought Goldstein was the owner. Turnquist thought they bought the car from the Midwest and Buxbaum’s name was familiar to him. It appears that during his ownership he almost sold 200190 on October, 20, 1999 with 1,052 miles showing, but evidently the sale fell through.
The current owner had been looking for a Hemi car for a number of years. He had a desire to replace the 1968 Hemi Road Runner he had purchased new, but could never find a similar car. In late 2001, he found 200190 advertised for sale in the February, 2001 issue of Hemmings. He called and initiated sales discussions. Turnquist said he was moving to a smaller place and needed to reduce the number of his cars. He purchased the car in February of 2001 and mileage at this time was a mere 1,337 miles.
The car comes with the following documentation:
A letter from R.K. Brown offering the RO23 cars to Plymouth dealers and outlining the specs; as well as the admonishment to not let these cars be street-driven, and the lack of warranty coverage
Warranty Disclaimer Letter that the buyer had to sign prior to purchase
Broadcast Sheet from 200190 translated by Galen Govier
Fender Tag from 200190 translated by Galen Govier
Reproduction Window Sticker for 200190 produced by Galen Govier
Copy of original title in Warren Barnett’s name
A few photos of 200190 from Warren Barnett
Photos in the used car lot as the “Family Affair”
Complete title copies from Mr. Barnett to the current owner with mileage documentation